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Condoleezza Rice With Chinese FM Li After Meeting

Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Li After Their meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Beijing, China
October 21, 2006

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much, Minister Li, I appreciate very much your welcoming me here, this is, I'm told, our seventh meeting this year. So that's a lot, but it is befitting because the United States and China have many issues on which we are working together.

We've had a discussion of the current situation on the Korean peninsula and in the region. The DPRK's announcement of a nuclear test was a serious provocation and it poses a threat to international peace and security, particularly the peace and security of East Asia.

I am pleased that the Security Council was able to unanimously adopt Resolution 1718 and the minister and I have talked about the importance of full implementation of Resolution 1718 so that we can make certain that there is not a transit and trade in illegal materials, dangerous illegal materials concerning the nuclear weapons program of the DPRK.

We also talked about the importance of leaving open a path to negotiation through the six party talks because after all, President Hu and President Bush are both committed to a diplomatic solution to this problem. The DPRK should return to those talks without condition and should begin the implementation of the September 2005 agreement of the six parties.

We also talked about Iran, where we are in another six-party framework cooperating to try and deal with the Iranian nuclear program and there is work under way as we speak at the UN Security Council concerning the Iranian nuclear file.

We talked also about Darfur and our desire to see an end to the fighting there but also the implementation of the resolution that would bring a peacekeeping force to Darfur to deal with a deteriorating situation in that region.

We talked also about a number of issues in the bilateral relationship including human rights and the importance of several cases that I've raised with the minister, but also our desire for continuing strategic dialogue. We have a number of strategic dialogues under way and we committed to continuing our discussions.

All in all, I think it was a very fruitful discussion, Minister Li, and I look forward to my discussions later on with Premier Wen, with State Counselor Tang, and of course with President Hu.

Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER LI: (via interpreter) As Secretary Rice has pointed out, this is our seventh meeting in the course of one year. And let me also add my thanks to the journalists here, because the journalists have apparently kept count of the number of meetings that I have had with Secretary Rice and they said that this year so far we have had 14 telephone conversations.

So just now both our two sides have given positive evaluation to the progress China-US relations have made since the beginning of this year. We believe that that shows that China and the Unites States are both stakeholders and constructive partners, and it also shows that China-US relations are taking on increasing global, strategic significance.

Both of us expressed a commitment to continuing to work for implementing the important consensus reached between President Hu Jintao and President Bush on comprehensively advancing the constructive and cooperative China-US relationship and we are committed to strengthening dialogue between trust and cooperation between our two countries, appropriately addressing differences and promoting healthy and stable development and growth of China-US relations, which we believe serves the interests of our two peoples and people in the rest of the world.

Secretary Rice and I also had an in depth exchange of views concerning the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. Both sides believe that under the current circumstances, continuing to work for the objective of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, peacefully resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula through dialogue and negotiations and safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in North-East Asia at large serves the shared interests of all parties.

As a member state of the United Nations and a permanent member on the UN Security Council, China will, as always, continue to implement our relevant international obligations and exert our due role in this process. China has an excellent track record in playing a constructive role in the international community and in honoring all our commitments. I think China will continue to maintain our excellent track record on this question.

We hope that all the relevant parties will maintain cool headedness, adopt a prudent and responsible approach, and adhere to dialogue and peaceful resolution as the general direction of our efforts. On our part, we are ready to maintain and continue to strengthen our consultation and cooperation with all the other parties to strive to break the stalemate as soon as possible and reconvene the six party talks.

And China is ready to continue with its constructive role in the process of peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations.

Secretary Rice and I also discussed a number of other issues. Secretary Rice just now mentioned about specific cases. On my part, I also gave her a list of two places involving two Chinese citizens. So China is ready to continue its dialogue with the US on the question of human rights on the basis of equality.

So here I would like to ask the journalists here to refer to the seventh article of the seventh chapter of the Chinese constitution which clearly stipulates that the state respects and ensures the human rights of the Chinese citizens.

I congratulate Secretary Rice on her successful visit to China and I wish her a pleasant stay in my country. I also wish all the journalists here happiness.

Thank you.

SECRETARY RICE: That's very nice. I wish you happiness as well. 2006/T25-6

Released on October 21, 2006


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